Author Topic: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family  (Read 59526 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2005, 09:53:35 AM »
I don't think Minette was contemptuous of Philippe, and I don't think she ever felt that Henrietta Maria had 'abandoned' her.

BTW, Charles I had always told Henrietta Maria that their last child would be hers to educate in religion.  Charles II was never really bothered by Minette's Catholocism, since she was, to all intents and purposes, a Frenchwoman.

I think she was willing to make the marriage work, as was Philippe, but they drifted apart very quickly. Minette's worst fault was her bad judgment, IMO, and her choice of friends.
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palatine

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2005, 11:54:24 AM »
Henrietta Maria fled from England a few weeks after Minette was born.  Charles I reached Minette a few weeks afterwards, and ordered Minette's baptism in the Anglican religion.  During the three years he was held prisoner, Charles ordered all of his children to obey their mother in everything except in matters of religion.  

Charles would have been horrified if he had known that Henrietta would convert Minette to Catholicism.  Minette was too young to know what she was doing, and unfortunately, continued her mother's habit of converting people, or trying to do so, even as an adult.

Some historians believe that the religious clauses in the Treaty of Dover requiring Charles II to convert to Catholicism were insisted upon by Minette, and that neither Louis XIV or Charles II took them seriously.   Lady Antonia Fraser, in "Royal Charles", raises this possibility.

I agree that Minette never felt abandoned by Henrietta Maria.  Smothered might be a better word.  It would have been better for Minette if she could have been sent to join her sister Mary in Holland than to be immured at Chaillot.  Henrietta was deeply depressed, and it was not a good or healthy upbringing for Minette to be cloistered with her.

As for Minette treating Philippe with respect, I have to disagree.  After her marriage, Minette quickly started up an affair with Louis XIV, and there is no more vivid gesture of disrespect than that.  She made bad worse by having other affairs.  Minette's reputation was so bad that when her nephew, the Duke of Monmouth, visited Paris, many believed that they were having an affair.  This wasn't true, but it gives an idea of what her contemporaries thought of Minette's fidelity.

I don't mean to suggest that Minette was evil; I must admit I don't think very highly of her.  I like the forthright Liselotte far better.  I also don't think that Philippe was anyone's dream husband by any means, but I think he has been unjustly vilified by Minette's biographers.

All of this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2005, 12:59:30 PM »
Quote

All of this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.


Yes, actually, my mileage does vary.  ;)

There is absolutely NO concrete evidence that I have ever heard to suggest that Minette was Louis XIV's mistress. At the very least, Henrietta Maria certainly wouldn't have approved - she repeatedly scolded Minette over her indiscreet behaviour with others.

As for Charles I, I am positive that he granted his wife the right to educate their youngest child in relgion. It was Elizabeth and Henry he told to stay true to Protestantism (which they did) - Minette was far too young for him to 'forbid' her to do anything.

As to the Treaty of Dover, I have never heard any such theories, and I doubt Minette - whose political opinions were not as decided as her mother's - would have had much input, save that which came through Louis.

As you say, Minette was certainly not evil, and I must agree that she was no saint.

Still, if one is willing to make excuses for Philippe (ie his upbringing) then one must do so for Minette. Also, could Minette really be expected to have any respect for a husband who treated her like dirt before long, and conducted flagrant homosexual affairs with the likes of the Chevalier de Lorraine?

On a lighter note, I agree that the loquasious Liselotte is also a favourite of mine.  :)
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Offline umigon

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2005, 01:19:04 PM »

I tend to agree with both of you, Prince and palatine. However, I absolutely agree with palatine that today we have a "light" version of Minette. She was, as I said before in this same thread, a bit of a histerical woman, not very stable emotionally.

Both Philippe and Minette had received a disastrous education, the firsty one deliberately, the latter because of circumstances. Philippe treated Minette like dirt, true, but she wasn't behind him. From the start she made scandalous scenes in which she got to hit and throw dishes at Monsieur. About the affair with Louis XIV, it was commented by everyone in the Court and, in Simone de Bertière's book "Les Femmes du Roi Soleil" she affirms that the affair really occured, though I can't remember if she gave any evidence.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2005, 01:21:47 PM »
Thanks for contributing Umigon.  :)

In Alison Plowden's 'The Stuart Princesses' she equally affirms her opinion that the affair with Louis did not take place . . .
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Offline umigon

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2005, 01:29:02 PM »


Ok, lets agree then that we will never really know, because neither of them left a written confession! ;) But, why not? Why Louis would have bothered respecting Philippe's wife if she was not satisfied by him? She was very thin - not the likes of the times - but she was not only pretty, but lively! Why should have Louis not have an affair with her?


I try to say that Louis was a womanizer, and he had affairs with women of all categories. Why not with Minette? She was young, pretty, a princess and his not sexually satisfied sister-in-law...


And on Minette's part, why would she have resisted Louis's attempts if she then did have proven affairs with other men - at least with Armand de Gramont?
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2005, 01:37:56 PM »
Perhaps Minette liked Louis as a cousin and friend, but not in a sexual way. Given her spirit, she would not have been above saying no.

As for Louis, perhaps he thought Charles would not be pleased if he slept with Minette? And perhaps he would not have wanted to upset Philippe? Or Henrietta Maria? Who knows? We certainly never will . . .
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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palatine

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2005, 02:16:22 PM »
Henrietta Maria's marriage contract gave her full control over the education and religion of any children she might have with her husband, until the children were aged eleven.  This condition was not honored, however, which made Henrietta very angry.  

Charles may well have told Henrietta that she could have full control over their youngest child, including her religion, but Charles often told people what they wanted to hear.  

It is true that Charles did not leave specific directions for Minette's religion, aside from having her baptised in the Anglican faith, but at the time of his execution in 1649, he fully believed that his son and namesake, as well as the rest of the family, would be returning to England and reinstated.  Charles may not have believed leaving such instructions was necessary, since he had told his son and namesake, over and over, about the importance of the Anglican religion.  If Charles had wanted to make an exception for Minette, he would have gotten word to Charles II.  Throughout his captivity, Charles sent letters and messages to Charles II and his other children, admittedly not Minette, to stay true to the Anglican religion.  Just before he was executed, Charles met with his children Elizabeth and Henry, and urged them to remain true to the Anglican faith, even recommending books to read.  

Until he was thirteen, Charles had been brought up to be a bishop; he received a thorough grounding in the Anglican religion.  I believe that Charles would not have approved of Minette becoming a Catholic, no matter what he said or wrote to Henrietta to the contrary.  I believe Charles counted on his son and namesake to keep the family Anglican.  It is unfortunate that the Interregnum lasted eleven years, instead of the months Charles evidently foresaw.

The problem with Minette, as umigon pointed out, was that she did not have a good education.  She was not used to the French Court, or any other Court; there was some belief before her marriage that Minette would become a nun, and if Charles II's restoration had taken a few years longer to achieve, I think that is what would have happened.  Henrietta Maria simply did not prepare Minette to play a public role, though Henrietta did encourage Minette to dabble in politics after her marriage, for Charles II's sake.  I think she was in over her head from the beginning.  It is unfortunate that Minette did not spend a few years at the Court of Charles II in London before her marriage.  She brought out the best in Charles II, and he might have helped her learn to discern between flattery and true friendship, etc.

I really don't think Minette gave Philippe much of a chance when they married, and he was quick to find refuge with his boyfriends, some of whom were indeed nasty characters.  Philippe's boyfriends undoubtedly  encouraged the estrangement between Philippe and Minette.  The legend that one of his boyfriends had Minette poisoned, however, is ridiculous.  There can be little doubt that Philippe's circle of friends and boyfriends hated Minette, and tried to get her in trouble with Louis XIV and Philippe, but she wasn't an innocent victim either.  Minette caused problems for herself which Philippe's circle exploited.

It is true that there are no eyewitness reports about Minette's affairs.   However, it is also true that her biographers rely largely on the memoirs of Madame de Lafayette, who was eager, particularly after Minette's tragic death, to paint her in a good light.  I have difficulty believing that there was that much smoke without fire where Minette and her love life were concerned, having plowed through many of the Memoirs of that era.

All of this is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2005, 02:23:44 PM »
I think it unlikely that Charles I, before his execution, believed his son and heir would be soon back in England - this was the Royalist's most despearate hour. Such blind optimism was hardly a characterisitic of Charles.

As to his having Minette baptised an Anglican, I beleive I can propound a plausible reason for this - he did not know that Minette's resourceful governess would smuggle her over to France quite soon, and he may have thought that after his death Minette would remain in England, like Henry and Elizabeth. If this was to be the case, he may well have thought that Cromwell and his allies may have looked upon Minette in a more favourable light if she was not a Catholic.

As to 'no smoke without fire' I can't really believe that - in royal circles there is always smoke without fire. To be sure, when Minette died, did not people cry poison? And yet, as we know, that was ridiculous. But if we follow the no smoke without fire theory, then there must have been reason to suspect that she was murdered.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
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palatine

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2005, 03:23:52 PM »
If there is anything Charles should be remembered for, it is his optimism in the face of grim reality, but that's really a topic for the Stuart page.

Charles had Minette baptised on July 21, 1644, soon after his arrival in Exeter and just over a month after she was born.  When she was three months old, Charles appointed an Anglican, Dr. Thomas Fuller, to act as Minette's chaplain.  In late July 1646, Minette escaped to France thanks to her resourceful governess, Lady Dalkeith.  Lady Dalkeith had received orders from Parliament to bring the little girl to London, where she would be held prisoner with her siblings Henry and Elizabeth.  Lady Dalkeith chose to flee to France with Minette instead.  Dr. Fuller, along with most of Minette's household, was left behind.  
 
In "A Coffin for King Charles" by C.V. Wedgwood, it states that Charles thought his eldest son would be back in England and restored to power and authority, and that his execution would facilitate this.  Wedgwood was an authority on the era.  Many authors of the period make it clear that no one really knew what was coming next at the time that Charles came to trial, including Oliver Cromwell.  I do not agree that Charles had Minette baptised as an Anglican as a ruse to fool Cromwell or anyone else.  Charles wanted all of his children, and all of his subjects, to follow the Anglican faith.  He did not take his title of Defender of the Faith lightly.

It is true that after all his adventures in exile, Charles II would not have cared if Minette was a Druid; he was very tolerant where religion was concerned.  The problem at the time that Minette converted was the fact that Charles II was trying to raise money and support for a rising in England and Scotland, and it was politically damaging to have Minette become Catholic.   It hurt his standing with the Anglicans in England and the Presbyterians in Scotland.

We will have to agree to disagree about Minette's fidelity to her husband or lack thereof.  I don't think she was faithful, but I can understand why you think she was.  There is no certain proof either way.

All of this is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2005, 04:27:27 PM »
One of my reasons for thinking Charles did not think his son would be back soon was because he warned James (and later Henry) that they might possibly be set up as puppet Kings. Why would he say this if he thought his son would be Charles II before long? But as you say, that is for the Stuarts.

In the meanwhile, I would like to know more about Liselotte. Does anyone agree with me that her letters have more the flavour of a 19th century princess than one of the 17th century? I find her gossipy personality quite endearing . . .
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Offline ilyala

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2005, 05:53:19 AM »
i don't think anyone in england thought the monarchy would be abolished after charles' execution. even cromwell was at a loss concerning what to do with the country, how to re-organize it after destroying all its structures. i think charles thought that he was gotten rid of in order to install some other monarch, a monarch that would be more complient to what cromwell and his people wanted. while charles would have been the heir, he was not the obvious choice, because he was a grown man, much harder to manipulate. so, if the revolutionaries were to place a new king on the throne, it had to be one of the younger ones, so that they could control the regency and his education. it is a well known fact that they wanted to place henry on the throne. cromwell, i believe, took him in front of the parliament to 'test his character', to see if he was anything like his father. it was said they were very pleased by him.

charles, being aware of that, made them promise they would not accept the throne. they did and that left his oldest son, charles as the candidate. there was no-one else, cause i don't think anyone would have gone to elizabeth stuart and place one of her kids on the throne. charles was the only one left. so, if the two children refused the throne and the monarchy was not to be abolished, he was likely to come back to england and be a king quite soon after his father's death.

for years, even after charles' death, noone actually believed that the country would NOT stay a monarchy. when they noticed that cromwell did not want charles on the throne, they offered him the crown. people at that time didn't conceive a republic.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2005, 10:27:54 AM »
Quote

In the meanwhile, I would like to know more about Liselotte. Does anyone agree with me that her letters have more the flavour of a 19th century princess than one of the 17th century? I find her gossipy personality quite endearing . . .



On the whole I think her letters are very much of the seventeenth century. Her character remained stuck in the 1650s and 1660s as she never really adapted to Versailles. She was, as Maria Kroll aptly wrote, "a very square peg in a very round hole". I can't imagine 19th century (or even 20th C) princesses writing about bodily functions in the way Liselotte did.

Liselotte was very tolerant of her husbands sexuality. One of my favourite letters reminisces on the time her first son was conceived. In bed she suddenly heard an amazing clanking and rattling sound. Monsieur had brought an entire collection of rosaries, relics and religious images with him and was rubbing them on his body under the bedclothes!

Reading between the lines, I think Liselotte was a bit in love with the King, her brother in law. He is the only one she never has anything bad to say about! She hated his wife Mme de Maintenon as is well known. Liselotte knew that she wasn't his type, but Louis liked her and always treated her with the greatest respect.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2005, 11:39:15 AM »
I don't mean what she said in her letters, but rather their gossipy and very personal style . . .
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2005, 12:31:53 PM »
Quote
I don't mean what she said in her letters, but rather their gossipy and very personal style . . .


OK then, I agree!
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)